The project has been beset with legal, financial and political problems for more than seven years and seen the budget reach a staggering £500,000. Once complete the ramp will allow wheelchair passengers and those travelling with push chairs to access rail services on the Bristol bound platform.
The saga has occupied the pages of The Week In for as long as it has been in existence. In 2009 we reported on the political fall out after an application for government funding was rejected. Dan Norris, the Labour MP at the time and the Conservative councillor Charles Gerrish were engaged in a war of words over who was to blame.
Funding was subsequently found with contributions also from the Council and rail operator First. Since then, there have been problems over tree removal and access to the proposed site. The road immediately adjacent to the station where the ramp would be installed is privately owned meaning agreement had to be reached with all the residents. First also had to apply for planning permission to close part of the footpath on Station Road and to use the pedestrian path to the platform for construction work. While the original plan in 2009 was costed at around £200,000 the price tag is now more than twice that figure today.
Speaking to The Week In during June 2012, Bath and Chippenham Station Manager Peter Rignall said he was hopeful that work would begin that Autumn. It now looks like the builders will move in on Monday (10th March) with the aim of completing the work by July. Work to strengthen the road bridge on Station Road has also been taking place over the last 6 months.